Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Storm? What Storm?

Kinda disappointing as far as blizzards go. But better to be too prepared than not prepared enough. I hope to get out in the next day or two and get pics of the mess all the slush and puddles make in midtown. That's fun!

Two shots from my Sunday walk around Chinatown:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Before The Storm

In preparation for being stuck inside for a few days due to winter storm Juno, yesterday I took a long walk through Chinatown -  through Columbus Park -  and up through Greenwich Village. The temps were mild and the sun was shining.

On Canal Street:

Columbus Park:

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Sometimes using a long lens is essential. I went to Washington Heights to visit a friend and had intended to play with the 50-140mm lens a bit. When I came out of the 181st street subway entrance I heard a cacophony of fire, ambulance. and police sirens. I followed the noise to Amsterdam and 179th street where there were more than twenty fire trucks and emergency vehicles. The top two floors of an apartment building had caught fire. The smoke was all gone by the time I got there, but
firemen were pulling down walls and ceilings.

Having only one camera with me, the X-T1, I could have only one lens to work with. I was able to walk through all the hoses and trucks to get close to the action on the ground, but I wanted to be able to get shots on the roof and at the tops of the ladders also. The tele-zoom worked extraordinarily well. I was able to get some really tight shots of the firemen and EMTs, and capture their expressions while doing a very dangerous job. They're all heroes.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Brrrrr .... And another test

Once again, jonesing to get out and shoot in spite of the very cold temps in NYC today. And I needed more work with the new 50-140mm f2.8 lens. I'm hoping to take three zooms with me this Spring on my trip to Israel: the 10-24mm  f4, the new (still to be released) 16-55mm f2.8, and the long zoom.  They're all large lenses compared with the other Fuji zoom and fixed focal lengths, but relative to the huge Nikon lenses and body I used to shlep, this kit is easily handled.

Using the optical image stabilization on the long lens makes shooting at relatively slow shutter speeds very magageable, even with my old shaky hands. These were all shot at 140mm ( 210mm equiv) and 1/125 sec. shutter speed:

Shot with my favorite (at least till the new 16-55mm comes out) lens, the 10-24mm zoom:

As I walked down Fifth Avenue, there was something special about the light and reflections from the store windows that made this shot seem to glow:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Heat Wave

Stuck indoors for over a week until the temperature hit 30°F today in NYC. So I packed up my camera bag and took a walk on Fifth avenue.

During my downtime I took the opportunity to try to understand how the Dynamic Range adjustment on the Fuji X-T1 affects exposure range. Most of the other effects adjustments will affect only the jpegs that are generated by the camera processor. But Dynamic Range determines how the sensor registers tonal ranges, so it affects RAW images also. There is a significant difference between DR100 and DR400 in how tones are mapped by the sensor. I need to play more with the functionality to get comfortable with it.

I shot the whole time with the 50-140mm lens. It's a focal range that I'm not at all comfortable using, so it's going to take quite a bit of practice. I need to 'see' images happening quite a bit farther away from me than I'm used to. And I need to be a bit more patient and steady when I shoot. Quite a few of the images I shot today were slightly blurred because I was too quick in moving the camera after I pushed the shutter. Since I use the optical image stabilization, which works quite well with this lens, even though the image is frozen, if the shutter speed is slow - like 1/30 or slower - the camera still has to be kept steady. It's one of the three lenses I expect to be taking to Israel in the Spring, and even though it will probably be the least used of the three, I need to be completely comfortable with it.

My best shot of the day - with the flattened perspective and the very limited scenic area around the subject, it's quite a bit different from my usual street shots:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Frigid Days

Temps in the teens and wind chill below zero! It's tough to walk to my car, let alone walk the streets of Manhattan. I'm going a bit stir crazy. Jonesing to do some shooting, but it'll have to wait until next week I guess. I went back through my catalog to look at pics from warmer days. These two were from October in the area around Union Square.

Druggies calling their dealer for a delivery:

Dry run:

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hanukkah at 770

It's been a busy week for me. There have been quite a few menorah lightings and Hanukkah parties around New York City, quite a few sponsored by Chabad. Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Chabad World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, Brooklyn to photograph the lighting of the menorah on the sixth night. Since it was a Sunday there were quite a few kids in attendance, many of whom had just come from parties.